9 The hen weekend – Sam’s Wedding Diary

Written by    Last updated: September 13, 2006

It wasn’t long after I got engaged before I began getting excited phone calls from girl friends asking when and where we were going for our hen party!

Bridesmaids usually arrange the hen night, but to hell with tradition! I’ve been a travel editor for so many years it’s always seemed inevitable that the task would eventually fall on me (and besides, as a bit of a control freak I wanted to chose the destination!).

Previous girlfriends have held their hen weekends in Spanish cities such as Palma or Barcelona, so it was up to me to come up with an alternative that was equally wild and crazy.

It had to be a destination not too far from the UK (around a two‐hour flight; it had to be by the beach; boast plenty of bars, shops and clubs; and it had to have good weather too.) Not wanting to let the girls down, there was only one place in my mind that would please everyone. Yes, you’ve guessed it! I’ve opted for the clubber’s dream destination ‐ Ibiza!

The great thing is, if you book your flights early, with a low‐cost airline, the hotels can be reasonable too, providing you shop around on the Internet and compare prices.

So, after deciding on a date (late June) and emailing my friends, six have booked their flights already and another four are preparing to take out their credit cards as I write.

Our preparation has certainly put the wind up the boys’ back sides ‐ the best man’s suddenly started sending out emails trying to organise the stag. Rumour has it they’re trying to keep it Top Secret, but it’s so secret even they don’t know when or where they’re going…Thank goodness the girls are arranging the wedding…

Top Tips for Organising A Hen Weekend

1. If you’re looking for a low‐cost flight, book early. Low‐cost flights are only cheap if you book far enough in advance; the closer you get to departure, the more fares will rise. Most airlines release their summer schedule in January.

2. Book direct with the airline or tour operator to save paying commission to agents. If you’re a large group you may be eligible for a group discount.

3. Try searching for accommodation on the Internet. Search websites such as Octopus.com, laterooms.com etc which negotiate discounted rates rather than charging higher rack rates.

4. Don’t make it known to the hotel that you’re a hen or stag party. Some hotels (and even destinations such as Dublin) now actively discourage hen and stag parties due to their rowdy behaviour! Shh don’t tell anyone my plans!

5. Start building up your stamina for late nights and alcohol immediately after you’ve booked your flights ‐ my married mates actually gave me this advice!

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